Today is day 3 of my growing fodder experiment. On Thanksgiving I soaked some barley for 24 hours. At the end of that time I drained it and saw what I thought might be tiny little roots breaking through the seeds. It wasn’t enough for me to be sure, though. I transferred the seed into two food grade containers that we made holes in one end of by melting with a wood burning kit tool and then poking through with a wooden skewer. We then propped those up in little baskets to keep them at an angle so that any residual water would drain off into the basket below. Then I stuck them under a lamp that we leave on all night so that people can see to find the bathroom at night.
The seeds get flooded with water and drained three times a day. Yesterday evening it was obvious that the barley was making roots. Today there is no mistaking that this barley is sprouting and we have found ourselves an excellent source of barley to cut down on our food costs. Just look at this up close:
It is supposed to take 8 days, including the soaking day to get to the height at which you feed it to your rabbits, so 5 days to go. I think they will really like it. I will transition them slowly. It’ll take a while for me to get a full set up and going anyway and we’ve got lots of pellets. Each adult rabbit will receive a half pound portion eventually, but to start with it’ll have to be less than that while they also have access to pellets. I have rabbits in 12 cages, and I have two trays, so I figure if I cut it up into 12 pieces that will do for now. I’d like to have 4 trays per day in the long run, which is 32 trays total. Four per shelf means 2 sets of five shelf units. I have one set of shelves, so that is what we will start with. So for now I need to work on getting some more trays. I need 14 more to have a functioning 8 day system.
I would love to be able to cut my costs on feed down, while feeding the rabbits a living food that they’ll enjoy. Barley is supposed to be really good for fur quality as well. We’ll see how it goes.